Chinese-based Baidu has announced that they are building a fleet of 1,000 autonomous vehicles. The cars will be mid-sized crossovers known as ‘Apollo Moon’ and will be rolled out over the next 3 years.
Baidu claims they can make the cars for RMB 480,000, which translates to A$99,468.92 in a straight currency conversion. When we consider the cost of a vehicle designed to be autonomous and have the purpose of making revenue by transporting passengers, we also have to consider the potential lifespan of the vehicle.
Being an all-electric vehicle, the Apollo Moon obviously uses battery packs, which Baidu expects will have a 5 year life cycle.
Baidu and partner BAIC Group entered into a strategic partnership way back in 2017, so this autonomous vehicle may seem like it’s arrived overnight, but it’s actually been a long time in the making.